Attorney General Eric Holder’s symptoms as he was rushed to the hospital Thursday – faintness and shortness of breath – could indicate anything from a heart condition to a less serious health problem brought on by stress, a top cardiologist tells Newsmax Health.
Holder, 63, was taken to the hospital after experiencing the symptoms during his regular meeting with senior staff at the Justice Department. He was reportedly “resting comfortably” and was released from the hospital after about three hours.
Faintness and shortness of breath – along with Holder’s age, race, and high-stress occupation – point suspicion to a “cardiac cause,” but there could be other reasons as well, says Chauncey Crandall, M.D., director of preventive medicine at the Palm Beach Cardiovascular Clinic.
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“The number one killer of government officials is heart disease. Period,” says Dr. Crandall. “No other cause of death comes close.”
Although Dr. Crandall has never treated Holder, he said that based on details made public, his first suspicion would be a heart-related cause.
Besides Holder’s high-stress occupation, being African American puts him at greater risk for heart disease. African American men have double the risk for fatal heart disease than non-Hispanic whites. They are also 40-percent more likely to have high blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease.
Holder does not appear to be overweight, nor does he have a known history of cardiac problems, two factors in his favor. His wife, Sharon Malone, is a physician.
Last June, Holder was asked at Senate hearing if he might be contemplating stepping down. "The tipping point might be fatigue," he said then, according to the Los Angeles Times. "You get to a point where you just get tired."
One cause for his symptoms might be an arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat, said Dr. Crandall, author of the number one Amazon best-selling book “The Simple Heart Cure.”
“This is a condition that occurs with more frequency in people after the age of 60,” he said.
Non-cardiac conditions that could account for Holder’s symptoms include asthma, anxiety, or even the early stages of pneumonia, Dr. Crandall said.
Holder is hospitalized at Medstar Washington Hospital Center, where he is undergoing tests. Dr. Crandall noted that Medstar has a reputation as one of the top cardiac centers in the world.
“Because of the high-stress atmosphere of Washington D.C., and the high profile people who work there, the area has the best cardiac care in the world. There is no doubt he will receive excellent treatment,” Dr. Crandall added.
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